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Building strength for hilly rides

vespariovespario Posts: 228
When out with club I can keep up on flat and on steep climbs but as the ride goes on I get dropped if the ride is lumpy and this is worse on the way back after coffee stop to the point where I really struggle.

I am ok for first 2 hours but run out of strength in my legs. Am 42 and weigh 11 stone. Took up cyling a year ago after running half marathons for years at very respectable times.

Any training tips to build strength and fitness? Thanks.
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  • lucan2lucan2 Posts: 293
    Ride more and you'll get better and stronger. Ride more hills especially, but it's the miles you ride that will make you quicker on the hills. A year isn't a long time to have been cycling, so keep at it and it will come.
  • joe.90joe.90 Posts: 171
    Ride as many miles as you like, it won't make you faster on hills...what it will do is build your base fitness up, meaning your legs are far less likely to start giving up so early.

    Stopping for coffee is a funny one, I never do it as my legs would start to shut down and it would be a major struggle. You may find starting up again always hard work.

    To build up strength for hills, do hills intervals in a high gear with low cadence... Works for me!
  • SlackSlack Posts: 326
    If you are struggling later on in the ride, it's because you have taken too much out of the reserves at the start of the ride. Improving your aerobic fitness will improve your core engine efficiency. You don't need strength for hills, just aerobic fitness and use of the correct gearing!
    Plymouthsteve for councillor!!
  • cyco2cyco2 Posts: 593
    So, how many miles a week/year ? Just because you have ridden for a year doesn't mean much.
    ...................................................................................................

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • vespariovespario Posts: 228
    Tend to ride about 100 + miles a week in winter. One 70 club run plus one or two shorter rides in the week.

    During school holidays this goes up to about 150 a week to 170 depending on weather.

    Tend to average around 17mph on most rides or so my garmin tells me.
  • vespariovespario Posts: 228
    Slack wrote:
    If you are struggling later on in the ride, it's because you have taken too much out of the reserves at the start of the ride. Improving your aerobic fitness will improve your core engine efficiency. You don't need strength for hills, just aerobic fitness and use of the correct gearing!

    I tend to find on the later climbs that I can't push the bigger gears as I seem to ack the strength. My club mates tell me I am spinning in too lower gear but I just can't push the pedals in a bigger one!
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    It's fitness you lack, not strength. You can't keep on on the later climbs because you're fatigued from pushing harder than your mates earlier in the ride.

    If you're just banging out the same rides week after week then you've probably plateaued and now need to do something difference to further improve your fitness.
    More problems but still living....
  • vespariovespario Posts: 228
    Thanks for the advice. Will work on general fitness and vary rides. May invest in a vo2 test and get one training plans from a local trainer.
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    vespario wrote:
    Thanks for the advice. Will work on general fitness and vary rides. May invest in a vo2 test and get one training plans from a local trainer.
    Woah, hang on. Save your money and just ride more often. You can easily improve lots without having to resort to anything like that - just figure out how much time you're willing to spend cycling each week and how hard to work in each session.

    Maybe try making the shorter rides a bit harder without killing yourself, so you increase your fitness, and at the weekend stay sheltered (i.e. ride mid-pack) for the first half of the club run so you save energy for the second half.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • vespariovespario Posts: 228
    Herbsman wrote:
    vespario wrote:
    Thanks for the advice. Will work on general fitness and vary rides. May invest in a vo2 test and get one training plans from a local trainer.
    Woah, hang on. Save your money and just ride more often. You can easily improve lots without having to resort to anything like that - just figure out how much time you're willing to spend cycling each week and how hard to work in each session.

    Maybe try making the shorter rides a bit harder without killing yourself, so you increase your fitness, and at the weekend stay sheltered (i.e. ride mid-pack) for the first half of the club run so you save energy for the second half.
    Like that idea. I ride with the fast group and have considered dropping to the slow group but they are tooo slow.
  • mike101mike101 Posts: 42
    Have you got a turbo? I've found that 2 * 20 Threshold sets on the turbo twice a week have improved my pace on Club runs dramatically.
  • GiantMikeGiantMike Posts: 3,139
    mike101 wrote:
    Have you got a turbo? I've found that 2 * 20 Threshold sets on the turbo twice a week have improved my pace on Club runs dramatically.

    Or 60 mins at sweetspot.
  • vespariovespario Posts: 228
    Can you explain threshold and swetspot?
  • mike101mike101 Posts: 42
    Threshold is the maximum effort you can output in an hour. Sweetspot is 90% of that i.e. comfortably hard. This article explains it in better detail.

    http://m.bikeradar.com/road/fitness/art ... sts-34902/
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    vespario wrote:
    Tend to ride about 100 + miles a week in winter. One 70 club run plus one or two shorter rides in the week.

    During school holidays this goes up to about 150 a week to 170 depending on weather.

    Tend to average around 17mph on most rides or so my garmin tells me.

    How old are you?
  • vespariovespario Posts: 228
    I am 41 and a half.
  • wardieboywardieboy Posts: 230
    Do you have a hot younger sister?
  • Graham KGraham K Posts: 329
    Have you tried changing your riding pattern, say doing a 15-20 mile sprint flat out instead of a say 50 mile ride, ideally have a hill or 2 in it and time yourself to see progress.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    vespario wrote:
    I am 41 and a half.

    I just noticed you already mentioned it on the OP :oops:
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Graham K wrote:
    Have you tried changing your riding pattern, say doing a 15-20 mile sprint flat out instead of a say 50 mile ride, ideally have a hill or 2 in it and time yourself to see progress.
    Wow 15-20 mile sprint flat out, great advice :D Physically impossible so interested to know how you get on sprinting flat out for 15 miles were most sprinters even the likes of Cav and Hoy normally do max for 200 to 400m and can't do anymore :D 20 miles hmm
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    Surprised that 100-150 miles a week isn't enough to stick with a club ride - especially at 11 stone in the hills.

    Is this a particularly fast club ride or is it starting to kick off a bit when you get dropped - because it may be the lads dropping you are out on chain gangs in the week and you just lack enough high intensity riding to stick with them when they put the hammer down. In other words are you blowing up at 2 hours or are they suddenly accelerating up a hill and you struggle to go with that intensity ?

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • vespariovespario Posts: 228
    Bit of both I think!
  • joe.90joe.90 Posts: 171
    Graham K wrote:
    Have you tried changing your riding pattern, say doing a 15-20 mile sprint flat out instead of a say 50 mile ride, ideally have a hill or 2 in it and time yourself to see progress.
    Wow 15-20 mile sprint flat out, great advice :D Physically impossible so interested to know how you get on sprinting flat out for 15 miles were most sprinters even the likes of Cav and Hoy normally do max for 200 to 400m and can't do anymore :D 20 miles hmm

    im pretty sure he didn't literally mean sprinting, just a much faster pace for shorter time.
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    vespario wrote:
    Tend to ride about 100 + miles a week in winter. One 70 club run plus one or two shorter rides in the week.

    During school holidays this goes up to about 150 a week to 170 depending on weather.

    Tend to average around 17mph on most rides or so my garmin tells me.

    First of all ride more frequently, 3 rides a week will not really help build fitness, you would have lost virtually all of the fitness in the 4 days you are not riding. If you can try to ride 3 to 4 times during the week, have a rest day before the 70 miler, you will eventually get fitter.

    If you can only do an hour or so on each ride during the week, up the intensity, no point doing you 70 mile effort/pace for less than 3 hour IMO. 60 mins at high tempo is a good start, or if you can manage it at sweetspot, but if you are not that fit that might prove to tiring if trying to ride more often as well.

    As above, seeing you can do 2 hours at a good pace, strength is a non issue, cardio fitness is the issue.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    joe.90 wrote:
    Graham K wrote:
    Have you tried changing your riding pattern, say doing a 15-20 mile sprint flat out instead of a say 50 mile ride, ideally have a hill or 2 in it and time yourself to see progress.
    Wow 15-20 mile sprint flat out, great advice :D Physically impossible so interested to know how you get on sprinting flat out for 15 miles were most sprinters even the likes of Cav and Hoy normally do max for 200 to 400m and can't do anymore :D 20 miles hmm

    im pretty sure he didn't literally mean sprinting, just a much faster pace for shorter time.
    Well he did say sprint "flat out" which does not even come close to saying ride at or just below threshold, flat out is anaerobic and unsustainable over endurance distance, this is a forum and some beginners may read training section for advice and take it as literal. I did put a couple of smiley faces so not being totally pedantic :-)
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    joe.90 wrote:
    Graham K wrote:
    Have you tried changing your riding pattern, say doing a 15-20 mile sprint flat out instead of a say 50 mile ride, ideally have a hill or 2 in it and time yourself to see progress.
    Wow 15-20 mile sprint flat out, great advice :D Physically impossible so interested to know how you get on sprinting flat out for 15 miles were most sprinters even the likes of Cav and Hoy normally do max for 200 to 400m and can't do anymore :D 20 miles hmm

    im pretty sure he didn't literally mean sprinting, just a much faster pace for shorter time.
    Well he did say sprint "flat out" which does not even come close to saying ride at or just below threshold, flat out is anaerobic and unsustainable over endurance distance, this is a forum and some beginners may read training section for advice and take it as literal. I did put a couple of smiley faces so not being totally pedantic :-)

    I think you actually were being totally pedantic, to be honest. If you think someone is going to read that, then start sprinting out of the saddle in 53/12 and expect to hold it for 20 miles then you perhaps underestimate humans as a species ;)
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • Graham KGraham K Posts: 329
    joe.90 wrote:
    Graham K wrote:
    Have you tried changing your riding pattern, say doing a 15-20 mile sprint flat out instead of a say 50 mile ride, ideally have a hill or 2 in it and time yourself to see progress.
    Wow 15-20 mile sprint flat out, great advice :D Physically impossible so interested to know how you get on sprinting flat out for 15 miles were most sprinters even the likes of Cav and Hoy normally do max for 200 to 400m and can't do anymore :D 20 miles hmm

    im pretty sure he didn't literally mean sprinting, just a much faster pace for shorter time.

    Spot on Joe, Cheers.
    I have a MTB route of 17 miles, its not the most adventurous, technical or hilly but I use it as a sprint (higher tempo blast) and time myself over and through it,
    Since doing this I found I was getting stronger on the slog's and gaining in endurance.
    So there you go oldwelshman, hmm :roll:
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Sorry but there is a big difference between high tempo blast and a sprint. If you mean do high tempo ride just say that, sprint efforts are much shorter duration but also have their benefits.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    There is a relevant point here which is if an hours hard riding on a MTB is a sprint then unless the rider is doing some super fast sprints or something they are probably not doing any real high intensity stuff.

    So yes maybe nobody did think they meant actually sprint for an hour but it's worth pointing out an hour is actually quite a long time to be pressing on and the intensity you could sustain isn't that much higher than the longer 50 milers - and certainly closer to that than actually sprinting.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Graham KGraham K Posts: 329
    Sorry but there is a big difference between high tempo blast and a sprint. If you mean do high tempo ride just say that, sprint efforts are much shorter duration but also have their benefits.

    Sorry but I will check and re-check each post I make to ensure the pedantic farts on the forum aint awoken :wink:


    And just to declare, what you class as a sprint and what I class as a sprint may be different :wink:
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